Insider's Picks: Most Expensive Barbie Dolls Ever

A woman named Ruth Handler was watching her daughter Barbara playing with her paper dolls, when she noticed how Barbara particularly loved giving her dolls adult roles. That was a little over six decades ago, when children’s toy dolls took on the form of infants. Handler figured a potential gap in the market, and the rest was history – but not after going through some particularly unconvinced Mattel directors, including her husband Elliot, the company’s co-founder.

They may have cost only $3 when they made their debut in 1959, but Barbie dolls are now part of a lucrative business, and frequently have special editions that are often not without collaborations with iconic fashion and jewelry designs. Of course, with every special edition, there will be some that sweep the records for being the most outrageously expensive, like these:

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Stefano Canturi Barbie ($300,000)

Its namesake creator Stefano Canturi, a famous jewelry designer, crafted this Barbie complete with the adornment of lavish accessories, including a diamond-embellished necklace and an impressive diamond ring. The proceeds of the doll, which was sold for almost $300,000, was intended for the Breast Cancer Campaign.

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De Beers 40th Anniversary Barbie ($85,000)

What better way to celebrate 40 years as an important jewelry company than with the debut of one decorated with precious diamonds? This 40th Anniversary Barbie was indeed made with this in mind – while the doll doesn’t look particularly different from other Barbies, its diamond encrusted belt is what elevates it above the rest, with 160 diamonds and other white diamonds.

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The Original Barbie ($27,000)

At the time The Original Barbie made its debut in 1959, it allegedly cost just $3. Whoever anticipated the fancy doll to skyrocket to become one of the most instantly recognizable dolls in the world, and even be synonymous with the word ‘doll’? The dolls are now worth up to tens of thousands of dollars, where the highest auctioned price to date was $27,450 for a mint condition.

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